The Maverick was adapted
for use as apartments in 1996. After remaining boarded up for fifteen years
from 1981 to 1996, a major conversion project was undertaken, with Lloyd
Jary and Associates, drawing the plans for a conservationally sensitive
The Maverick family were
heavily involved, in the late nineteenth century, in developing Houston
street as the city's primary business corridor. In the early 1970's downtown
S.A. underwent a severe market failure due to the development of the major
malls and shopping centers on the outskirts of town (primarily on the north
side). Former Govenor Price Daniel purchased the building, but his plan
to renovate as a hotel failed. The structure was fully vacated in 1981.
Currently, Nov 1998, downtown is undergoing a major redevelopement and
The Maverick Building,
designed by architect Lou Harrington (1872-1950), was opened in the spring
of 1922. The architectural character is of the Second Eclectic Period (1860-1930)
of the National Phase. This period is noted for it's structural experimentation
and achievement. This period produced the skyscraper, America's most noteworthy
single contribution to architectural developement. Harrington was born
in Michigan and came to San Antonio in 1909. He served as local manager
for Sanguinet and Staats from 1909 through 1913. Wyatt C. Hedrick (1888-1964)
ran the construction company that did the excavation for the foundation
of the Maverick Building. In 1922, he and Sanguinet & Staats (Fort
Worth) formed a partnership, becoming sole proprietor in 1926, when S &
S retired. This architectural firm revolutionized Texas' commercial architecture
with their innovative "skyscraper" design.
Built by the Estate of
George M. Maverick (1845-1913), it was constructed on the site of the old
Maverick Hotel. The previous building was constructed in 1878, and was
the location of the city's military headquarters through 1881, when George
Maverick converted it into a hotel. George was one of six children of Samuel
A. Maverick (1803-1870), who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence
(my great, great, x, x, grandfather Jose Antonio Navarro also signed this
document), and owned a large portion of the real estate in the surrounding
area, and all around Texas.
Noted for it's simplicity
of line, the nine story reinforced concrete, masonry, and cut stone building
that currently stands on the southeast corner of Houston and Presa Sts.,
was occupied as an office building until the late 1970s. Many prominent
businesses based their operations there in 1922, including the Maverick
Land Office, the Medina Valley Irrigation Co., the Jefferson Standard Life
Co. Later, architects Bartlett Cocke and Marvin Eickenroht, the Texas Unemployment
Compensation Commission, the Christian Science Reading Room, the Social
Security Regional Office, the Fuller Brush Company, and Zales Jewelers
(ground floor tenant for nearly 40 years), among many others. In the 20s
and 30s a cafeteria was located in the basement.
The Maverick Building
remains today an important and intact example of early high rise architecture.
This is one of the factors making it eligible for Historic Preservation
Certification. Some other factors are it's simplicity in skyscaper design
which was a departure from previous local architecture, it's prominent
location, the fact that the Maverick family was largely responsible for
the developement of Houston St., and on and on.
The ground floor facade
was altered to Zales' requirements at some point. This included joining
the original lighted marquee with a continuous canopy along Houston and
Presa Streets, and the removal of some of the original stylized Corinthian
capitals and pilasters. These capitals were done in cast stone.
Battersby Ornamental removed
one of the existing originals and duplicated it to replace the four that
were missing. We also duplicated and replaced several smaller rosettes
that were removed from above the capitals. The mold for these smaller pieces
was made on site, while the mold for the capitals was done "on the bench"
in our studio. The weight of the newly cast capitals required the use of
a chain hoist to remove the mold from it's case, and a fork lift was used
to take them up to the second level of the building where they were "planted".